Milestone for Domi

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:24 AM ET

Sixteen years and one day after he drove the Detroit Red Wings nuts in his first NHL game, Tie Domi will become a part of NHL history tonight.

The 36-year-old, having overcome big odds, will skate in his 1,000th NHL match when the Maple Leafs visit the Buffalo Sabres.

"I never thought it was going to happen," Domi said. "It was a dream come true to play that first game, and to last 1,000 games is something I will definitely cherish. It's a nice achievement, but the game is a lot more important."

Domi will become the 206th NHL player to reach the milestone, following Tampa Bay Lightning defenceman Darryl Sydor, who did it on Tuesday.

What makes Domi's feat impressive is that he didn't get by on skill. Players who mostly are fighters in the prime of their careers usually don't last this long.

Only Tiger Williams and Dale Hunter have more than Domi's 3,473 penalty minutes.

"He had to fight Bob Probert and Dave Brown every night back in the day," Leafs teammate Wade Belak said.

"I think it's going to be tough for anybody in this new game to play 1,000 games as a tough guy."

Domi began his career with the Leafs and also played for the New York Rangers and Winnipeg Jets before he was re-acquired by the Leafs in 1995. On March 2, 1990, at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit in his NHL debut, Domi received three 10-minute misconducts for yapping at the Wings.

"I can remember it like it was yesterday," Domi said.


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